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IOCC Delivers Winter Relief To Greece's Most Vulnerable

These young wards of a Church-run orphanage in northern Greece were provided heating oil  (photo: IOCC)These young wards of a Church-run orphanage in northern Greece were provided heating oil (photo: IOCC)January 3, 2014

Baltimore, MD (IOCC) — As snow and nighttime temperatures fall in portions of Greece, the country's most vulnerable – the elderly, people with disabilities and orphaned children – are at the greatest risk of succumbing to the bitter cold without adequate heat to keep them warm. Tax hikes last year by the Greek Government nearly doubled the price of heating fuel, making it unaffordable for the country's nursing homes, rehabilitation centers and orphanages already stretched thin to meet other operating costs such as food, wages and maintenance. Without government assistance, caregiver institutions struggle to protect the health and well-being of their wards this winter.

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is providing winter relief with the emergency distribution of heating fuel to 35 social institutions across 15 prefectures in northern Greece. The aid is made possible through the generous support of The Jaharis Family Foundation, Inc., which has pledged to match contributions to IOCC for its efforts to address hunger and poverty in Greece. The institutions, which are home to 1,900 children and adults unable to care for themselves, will receive supplemental fuel to assist in keeping their facilities heated through the winter months.

In addition to the emergency winter aid, ongoing distributions of food are being provided throughout Greece in cooperation with Apostoli, the social service agency of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Athens.

Last winter, with the support of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, IOCC distributed heating fuel to 35 social institutions caring for the country's most vulnerable people in Athens, northern and central Greece. IOCC has been working since 2011 to address the urgent humanitarian needs of children, families and elderly in Greece facing poverty and an uncertain future brought on by the country's financial crisis. IOCC has delivered more than $7 million in medical support, food and job assistance programs to the people of Greece.

For more information or to donate, visit IOCC's Website.